Monday, December 9, 2013

Goddesses in the Dust: The Flag, the Missal and the Witch's Hat

An archaeologist unearths the divine feminine, one archetype at a time...

As archaeologists do, I was digging the other day, but in my basement, not in Greece. On a shelf, tucked away, I came across a box covered with dust; on closer inspection I noticed some objects sitting on top. As I pulled the box into the light I saw three of the most random things - things that somehow comprise a pastiche of my interests: a Greek flag, my old Catholic Mass missal, and a witch's hat.

How are these things even related, you ask? Let me see....

The Greek flag - obvious. I love Greece. Ever since, at age 11, I first set foot on the soil I fell in love with the place. The deep thrum of the earth, the ancient voices in the air, the light. There is mystery there.

The missal? My childhood comes back to me - sitting next to my mother every Sunday, listening to Father Winzerling deliver his fire and brimstone sermons, and spending the time, half-listening to the angry priest, half staring at the images surrounding me; statues of the Virgin Mary's sad face, the faces of the tortured saints, and slipping into a daydream. 


Reading the story of St. Cecilia reminds me of how women have been treated throughout millennia. She is the patroness of music, it is stated at the top, but the text reads of anything but in her life: she was compelled to marry someone against her will and spent her time converting him and his brother to her faith, to a belief system. But what about her love of music? Why didn't the missal tell me about this as well? 

Then there is the End of the World to deal with.

But even through the rants of Father Winzerling, the sorrowful images, the circumscribed tales of the lives of the saints, I saw beyond. There is mystery here too.


The witch's hat speaks to me of the millennia old burial of the feminine archetype. The story it tells is of the power of the feminine, its ability to heal, to intuit, to create, and its age-old suppression by the Church and the powers that be. But the feminine archetype, as archetypes do, is reemerging just when we need it. It always does. 

 And yes, most of all, there is mystery here.

So the moral of this tale?  We like what we like: there isn't always a neat explanation available. As with my random objects, as with the way of a world we work so hard to comprehend, maybe we aren't meant to understand everything, and perhaps for that we should be grateful. Maybe - as we work to see beyond the symbols of our lives - we can appreciate those quiet moments in between, that remind us to just enjoy the mysteries.

10 comments:

  1. Amanda, you're opening up so many areas of inquiry with your themes, how female intuition and perseverance have survived and possibly kept civilizations from further collapse. Think of how the Missals were put together, never really focusing on the creative and redeeming aspects of the women they celebrated. Mother Mary's great gift to women was not her 'immaculate' conception at all. I'm looking forward to your book, where I'm sure you'll be laying out all these things in great details.

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  2. I sure hope the some mysteries will remain or the world will become a very dull place.

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  3. I like the illustrations! this shows how the books used to be published - carefully

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  4. It's interesting that these three parts of you were together... me, I'd take that as a sign :) x

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  5. Cool witch's hat. I must dig out my wizard's one . . .

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  6. I love how you turn clearing out the basement into archaeology! It was fun to get this random sample of your past. I just gave away all our dress up clothes, including a similar witch's hat, to the 2 year old twins down the road. They are having a blast.

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  7. So interesting the archetypes of feminine desirability. First the professed virgin (or Nun), then the Witch, then the Playmate. I recall a lecture about that, at University, decades ago. Strange, or not so strange; the archetypes just never go away.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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  8. What a totally beautiful and meaningful post! I have been away (in a misty world of flu and sickness...for a few weeks)... Love those three (also meaningful) symbols you re-discovered..... I am still struggling to surface into the world of the healthy....(so in a way, I DO feel like Persephone)...miss you...looking forward to your book...Love to all and a special hug to Mia! Always, Your *Twin*, ♥ Robin ♥

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  9. I love this! Firstly, I agree with everyone on the pictures, they are SO of that time. I love that you don't have to worry about the end of the world if you are good - whew - there's a relief! And the hat and greek flag - did you put all this stuff together so that you could find it and have a wonderful post? It's all so perfect together for you.
    Happy Holidays to you and your family. enjoy the wonderful symbols, myths, secrets and mystery

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